Being a freemium language learning website that offers digital language proficiency assessment exams, one wonders how Duolingo makes money. This American has its learning platforms available via the mobile app as well as its official website.

To run a successful operation as it currently does, there has to be some kind of the way it makes money. This is what we seek to find out.

Join us to find out how Duoling makes its money.

Some Little Background

Duolingo prides itself as the world’s best way to learn a language. Despite being valued at over $700 million, the online language learning program is still poised for further expansion.

Although its language learning programs are free, it offers a premium service for a fee. Its courses have been structured in the form of interesting games to hold the learner’s attention and help with fast learning.

Duolingo is currently valued at over $700 million. Its courses can be accessed through a variety of ways including browsers as well as on every major platform such as Android, IOS, and Windows. Some of the ways its courses are offered include tiny cards. This is a flashcard-based learning system that has proven to be very effective.

Duolingo has become a major provider of language learning with over 300 million users and counting. About 31 language courses are being offered by it. These include some of the major languages around the world.

Duolingo also has an English proficiency test for learners. This comes at a fee.

How Duolingo Makes Its Money

For all of the wonderful free language services it provides, it’s only fair that it earns some income from it. Duolingo has adopted a freemium model for its language learning operations. This has a paid version of the app that eliminates any ads.

Not only has this been effective in generating revenue, but it has also helped users to have access to gems (its in-game currency). These gems are used in unlocking contents as well as creating extra chances among other benefits.

Advertisements also help Duolingo generate revenue. However, such ads aren’t so intrusive and allow users to continue their learning process without significant interruptions. Such ads were initially absent, which in turn affected Duolingo’s money-generating capacity.

Its English Certification Test which was earlier mentioned is another way it generates income. Interested test-takers pay a fee of $49 for a validation certificate which proves their English proficiency.

An additional way Duoling makes money is through its relationship with major partners. These partners own and operate content-heavy websites that require a great deal of translation. The services provided by Duolingo to these partners is that of translation.

Duolingo has found an effective way to cut down on translation costs through crowdsourcing. The cost of translation is significantly reduced and much cheaper than the fee demanded by professional translators.

  • Additional Ways Of Making Money

Duolingo is constantly working on improving its user experience. It adopts a wide range of strategies that are also designed to improve its revenue generation. This creates a win-win situation for both users and the company. Apart from translating for websites, Duolingo also translates books.

This language learning platform also has a premium service known as Duolingo Plus. This comes at a fee and includes additional features or benefits such as an ad-free experience.

Others include an ability to download lessons in the app for offline use, unlimited hearts, monthly streak repair as well as unlimited skill test-outs.

Duolingo users under its premium subscription model are helping to make a difference. This subscription plan helps it provide free education for millions of users around the world.

What more? By gaining more users and finding creative ways of meeting their language learning needs, it creates an upswell in its earnings in the long run.

However, it is important to make something clear. The aim of Duolingo seems to be more about helping language learners by providing quality content than on profit-making.

Are Users Happy?

From user reviews on a lot of sites, the majority of users seem to be quite happy with the language learning service. Although there are a few complaints ( which are expected) it is overwhelmingly positive. This is why Duolingo continues to gain users from all over the world.

Also, its focus on providing free learning seems to overshadow every other motive for income generation. This reflects in its product and course design. Duolingo isn’t doing bad either in helping people achieve their language learning goals and targets.

Will It Improve On Its Income Generating Capacity In The Future?

It remains to be seen what steps will be taken by this language learning platform to increase its revenue in the future. More ways to boost its revenue might be created in the future depending on its needs and that of its students. However, that is only an assumption.


Since we’re talking about how much money Duolingo earns, it will be necessary to also consider what its yearly earnings look like. In 2018, this service reported annual revenue of $36 million. This was raised from its wide range of language learning services offered.

Such services range from online education, professional certification, translation, crowdsourcing, language courses, Duolingo English Test, Duolingo for Schools, Tinycards flashcard app among others.

Its continued growth in users which is quite impressive is impacting its revenue generation capabilities. This shows that free education is good for business. Overall, Duolingo offers more free services than paid ones.

Payment for its premium service isn’t much either. At $7 you get access to all of its premium content which has been mentioned earlier. There’s little wonder that it has emerged as one of the most downloaded educational apps worldwide.

The demand for its services has seen it expanding its office locations in Beijing and New York among other regions and counting.

In Conclusion,

Duolingo has become a success story and has also grown to be a trusted name in the provision of highly efficient language learning services. This has impacted positively on its income-generating potentials. As it continues to add more users, so also does its revenue growth go up.